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Showing posts from August, 2006

Bonds/Giants rolling into September

Well it took about 4 1/2 months, but we are starting to see shades of the old Barry Bonds again. Along with that, the Giants are playing their best ball of the season, finally stringing together a couple solid weeks of baseball. Unfortunetly, the Dodgers have found their winning ways again, and the Giants are still 5 games back of first place, but they are only1 1/2 games back in the wild card race with still plenty of baseball to play (30 games left). Besides continuing dominance shown by Noah Lowry and Matt Cain, a couple of bi g bats are just starting to really get it going. The big fella, Barry Bonds is hitting .407 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI's over his last 10 games (27 at-bats). His most impressive game over that span came Tuesday night in Atlanta when Barry went 3-3 with 2 home runs. His game yesterday reminded me a lot of a series back in May 2001 when the Giants where in Atlanta. Bonds' hit something like 7 home runs in the 3 game series at Turner Field doing it agains

Giants Back Within Striking Distance

The Giants' seasaw battle back into the division race will not stop. As I am writing this, the Padres have a 3-1 lead on the Dodgers in the 3rd inning at Petco Park. If the Dodgers lose tonights ballgame, it would put the Giants only 4 games back of them. The Dodgers have finally hit a little bump in the road in San Diego and the Giants have taken advantage. Look no further than the arms of Noah Lowry and Matt Cain and you'll see why the Giants are not only still breathing the the NL West, but are now well within striking distance. Matt Cain turned in another solid outing Tuesday night going 7 innings giving up only 1 run. Unfortunetly he fell victim to Armondo Benitez's latest blunder and it cost him from getting his 10th win of the year. Cain is starting to gain more consistancy as the season goes on and it won't surprise me the least to see him lead the team in wins and strikeouts at the end of the season. Noah Lowry's outing on Monday was his best of the season

7 Games Back Again

Just when it looked like the Giants may actually get back within striking distance of the first place Dodgers, the Dodgers have taken the air out of their sails. The Giants had gotten withing 5 games of the Dodgers with their 5 game winning streak, but they are again 7 games out and it looks like their slim window for a playoff spot will probably be all but closed by the time September 1st rolls around. Again, the Giants' lack of consistency has forced them from being able to even get back to .500, let alone back atop the NL West. Brad Hennessey had his worst performance of the season Saturday when he didn't even make it through the second inning. Then Matt Morris kept the Giants in the game for a while Sunday, but the offense didn't show up and the game got broken open late. This season is starting to unfold worse than last year did. At least last year the Giants started to make a push late in the season when Randy Winn came over and Barry Bonds returned. This season, ever

Hillenbrand and Benitez Finally Contribute!

Armondo Benitez is two for his last two in save oppurtunities, and while that comes nowhere near making up for the 3 in a row he blew, he has been looking a little better. Monday night in San Diego, he held a one run lead, albeit in typical Benitez fashion allowing 2 runners to reach base before closing the door. On Tuesday night, Benitez may have looked the best I've seen him in a Giants uniform. For the first time in almost 2 seasons, I saw his fastball hitting 95-96 mph, and his splitter was actually nasty and controlled. He held another one run lead but did it perfectly. As bad as Benitez has been, we all know he's not going anywhere anytime soon so hopefully he can continue building off these last couple outings. When he was struggling, his fastball was between 90-92 and his splitter was affected by that. If he can stay up in the mid-90's like he has been in San Diego, he should be fine. Benitez is a guy who feeds a lot of success, and when his confidence is high, that

Road Woes Continue

Watching the Giants at AT&T Park is starting to get hard enough, but watching this team on the road is becoming impossible. They are 1-11 over their last 12 road games and now their season could be in jeapordy if they can't turn it around over the next week. They are now 6.5 games out of first place and falling faster and faster. By looking at the schedule and standings, it seems like getting back into this race is very doable, but if you've watched this team on consistant basis this season, you know it's going to be tougher than it looks. Their offense looked like it was ready to heat up at the begining of the week, but they have been stone cold since then. The teams defense is also starting to cause some concern as well. Ray Durham has already made two very costly errors in the first game and a half in LA and the outfield is looking slower and slower. Moises Alou and Steve Finley look like they're starting to lose interest in a hurry. You know things are getting u

Giants Start Off Well On Road Trip

Last time the Giants where on the road, it marked the begining of a horrible losing streak and a fall from the top of the NL West. Now the Giants are going to have to reverse their fortunes this time around if they want to stay alive in this wide open NL West race. Yes the Giants are in last place in the division, but they are only 4 1/2 games back of the Padres, and as bad as things have gotten over the last 3 weeks, they are still very much in this thing. After the series in Arizona, they travel to LA, then San Diego. All 3 of these teams are teams the Giants are chasing, and with a good road trip, this team could amazingly find themselves at the top of the division. The starting pitching for the Giants has been absolutely fantastic. Matt Cain is starting to get comfortable and he's the hottest Giant pitcher going right now. 4 of his last 5 starts have been tremendous, with his latest being a career high 12 strikeout, 7 inning performance vs. the Rockies. The best thing about Cai

Matheny Out For The Year

Mike Matheny's season has officially ended as he will be unable to play again this year. Matheny suffered a series of concussions back in late May and hasn't fully recovered since. Some in the organization fear he may not be able to play again. Matheny's glove, arm and veteran presence has been and will be missed. Elizer Alfonzo has been the surprise of the year so far and one of the things I am looking forward to most over the last 2 months of the season is seeing how Alfonzo continues to perform as the season goes on and he starts facing teams for a second and third time. His .293 avg., 9 home runs and 24 RBI in 140 at-bats is by far the most impressive rookie offensive start we've seen in San Francisco in years. Felipe Alou had planned on playing Todd Greene a lot more than he has with Matheny out, but Alfonzo has made that extremely tough. Mike Krukow was talking about Alfonzo the other night and was mentioning how fun he is to watch. There aren't many Giants on